I am Venus: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $6.13 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
I am Venus: A Novel has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

I am Venus: A Novel Hardcover – June 13, 2013


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.82
$3.88 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.


Frequently Bought Together

I am Venus: A Novel + Sister Teresa
Price for both: $43.28

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (June 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146830657X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468306576
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,631,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This novel follows the seventeenth-century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez’s career from his humble beginnings as an apprentice painter to his arrival at the royal court and steady ascension as the king’s “pet painter.” Examination of Velázquez’s paintings illuminates the corruption and censorship that surrounded the royal court during the Inquisition. But while the timeline of Velázquez’s life drives the plot, it is the everyday players surrounding him who step into the foreground of the story. The exploration of their daily lives, with a particular focus on Velázquez’s wife and her ladies-in-waiting, paints a picture that is deliciously contradictory to the perfect representation demanded of Velázquez by the royal court. Mujica continues her realistic representation by loading the text with rich historical detail, which, though sometimes causing the pace to drag, instantly creates a sensory world for her readers to inhabit. Narrated by the mysterious model who posed for Velázquez’s risqué nude portrait, the Rokeby Venus, the revelation of whose identity makes for a satisfying, if not entirely surprising, conclusion to this worthwhile read. --Liz Teahan

Review

Praise for I Am Venus:

“Mujica’s prose is vigorous and intense, and the story is paradoxically both dark and illuminating.” —-Kirkus Reviews

"The exploration of [the characters'] daily lives, with a particular focus on Velzquez’s wife and her ladies-in-waiting, paints a picture that is deliciously contradictory to the perfect representation demanded of Velzquez by the royal court. Mujica…instantly creates a sensory world for her readers to inhabit."--Booklist

Praise for Frida

“Vivid . . . Frida burns with dramatic urgency.” —-The New York Times Book Review

“A delicious blend of fiction and biography. . . . A captivating introduction to the life-—and death—-of Frida Kahlo.” —-Grand Rapids Press

“The best kind of fictionalized biography: rich, vibrant, and psychologically acute.” —-Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Sister Teresa

“Eschewing sacred sentiment for rich, gritty anecdotes, Sister Teresa, Bárbara Mujica’s well-researched novel, reimagines famed 16th-century Teresa of ávila as a vibrant and fully fleshed woman not above vanity, deceit, and a little pre-convent hanky-panky.” -—Entertainment Weekly

“A lively, vivid, and fast-paced story . . . Bárbara Mujica is extraordinarily qualified to bring together the ethos of 16th-century Spain with a woman from that era whom no one can ignore, St. Teresa of ávila . . . Mujica [is] a natural storyteller.” —-America

“Engaging . . . Mujica’s fictional narrator, Sister Angelica, steals the show . . . Despite the many ugly historical events, such as the Spanish Inquisition, that figure into the story, it is surprisingly light and entertaining.” —-Publishers Weekly
 

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I was very surprised to see the negative reviews posted here. I am a woman that loves to read. I also deeply appreciate history, fiction, and art. All three blend together superbly in Dr. Barbara Mujica's novel, "I am Venus." This novel is rich, illustrative, and the character development is first-rate. "I am Venus" is an enchanting story woven around the history of a mysterious and provocative painting by Baroque Spanish painter, Diego Velazquez, which entitled "The Toilette of Venus." This story is told in a style that allows for the characters to fully bloom and it is enchantingly written. What I appreciate most about this novel is the care and detail taken by Dr. Mujica to research and represent life in the 1600's in a historically accurate way. This accuracy brings richness and life to the story and the characters. Aside from the compelling plot, Dr. Mujica's rich descriptions of men and women's period dress, court life, the local and regional economic forces which were shaping the world at that time, the intricacies of royal dynamics, and the every day life of a person living in the early to late 1600's brings the pages to life.

As a lover of art, one aspect of the book I truly appreciate is the detail and care with which the author researched and described the changing methods of painting which were going on in Europe, offering a tantalizing look into the forces that were shaping the art scene at that time. Worries about the Inquisition were causing some artists to self-censor. This book captures a moment in time when an artist decides to throw off the burden of what others think and paint what he loves, the female body, despite the risks to himself and the model.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing with relatively small amount of information about the artist Velasquez and thin plot about the turbulent times and vast amount of corruption then.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
I must admit that going into this book I knew a little about Velazquez but he was not one of the artists I studied heavily while in college. One could not study art history without covering him so I was cognizant of the basics of his life and art. So you add my passion for art and my love of historical fiction and I was thrilled to be reading this book.

The painting of a nude during this period in Spain was dangerous due to the Inquisition and the mores of the times but a request was made and Velazquez wanted to be seen as equal to the great masters in Rome and Florence but the identity of his model has always been unknown. Ms. Mujica uses her novel to present a tantalizing possibility as to whom she might be. The book is narrated by "Venus" and she does not reveal herself until very close to the end.

I truly enjoyed the book for both its depiction of Velazquez's rise to prominence and for the detailed history. Art in this post Renaissance time period was so very dependent on rich patrons and the politics swirling around the church and the monarchy. Art was used then to document the feelings of the people and to represent the times as well as to paint pretty pictures of the nobility. Ms. Mujica wove both the art and the history into one cohesive, delightful novel about one of the greatest artists to come from Spain.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By little lady blue on July 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"After all, what is art but a play of mirrors, an illusion?" (Pg. 12).

The Prologue: Page 5 - 12 & the Epilogue: Page 295 - 299 were the best part of this book.

I was looking forward to this novel because I am fascinated by master painters. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier was a wonderful reading experience & I expected this to be similar. It was not. It is chock full of historical data about Spain's Kings/Queens/Wars/Politics/etc. It reads like a historical treatise. It appears to have been well researched but I wasn't looking for a history lesson. The dialogue was decidedly not of the period & did not allow the reader to feel immersed in the time in which the events were taking place. The prose felt cold & analytical lacking warmth or emotion.

We are all aware that the identity of "Venus" is pure conjecture. The conjecture put forth by Ms. Mujica is indeed an interesting one & I was pleased with her selection, but I had to wait until the very end of the book to find it. It was a long journey.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Barbara Mujica,from Los Angeles, California, is a professor of Spanish literature at Georgetown University. Her latest novel is I AM VENUS, based on the enigma of the Rokeby Venus, the only extant nude of Spanish painter Diego de Velazquez. Her novel FRIDA was an international bestseller that appeared in seventeen languages. Based on the tumultuous relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, FRIDA was a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate. Mujica's novel SISTER TERESA is based on the life of Saint Teresa de Avila and is being adapted for the stage by Coco Blignaut of the Actors Studio in Los Angeles. Mujica's other book-length fiction includes The Deaths of Don Bernardo (novel), Sanchez across the Street (stories), and Far from My Mother's Home (stories). Mujica has written several scholarly books, among them TERESA DE AVILA, LETTERED WOMAN and TERESA DE JESUS: MISTICISMO Y FEMINISMO.

I AM VENUS was a winner in the 2012 Maryland Writers' Association fiction competition in the Historical Fiction division. Mujica's short story, "Imagining Iraq," was a winner in the Short Story division. Mujica was the only contestant to win in two divisions. She has also won the Trailblazers Award from Dialogue on Diversity, the Theodore Christian Hoepfner Award, the Pangolin Prize, and the E. L. Doctorow International Fiction Competition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?